For Immediate Release
Contact: Diane Lance, (615) 880-1100


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (June 18, 2020) – The Metro Office of Family Safety (OFS) has created a suite of online resources to assist people experiencing abuse while staying at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Planning for safety while sheltering at home during the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious challenge for people experiencing abuse,” Diane Lance, the OFS department head, said. “Being trapped with an abusive partner, family member or caretaker can create a lethal environment with constant abuse and limited access to normal outside interactions with neighbors, friends, schools, healthcare professionals, co-workers, etc.”

The new online resources created by OFS include tips to stay safe and/or leave an abusive situation safely while under the “Safer at Home” order and two educational videos on the types of abusive behaviors that increase the risk of being murdered by an abuser.

The resources can all be accessed at the Metro Office of Family Safety website ( and include the following:

  • COVID-19 Safety Plan & other Safety Resources: This web page includes tips for how to stay safe, access help and leave an abusive relationship safely, as well as numerous other safety planning resources available for additional information.
  • Understanding Your Risk (English & Spanish): This web page includes a video on “high risk indicators” designed to help viewers evaluate their risk in a straightforward and simple way while highlighting the most dangerous abusive behaviors – firearms, strangulation, threats to kill, sexual assault and stalking. These high risk indicators come from the research by Dr. Jacqueline Campbell that created tools now considered best practice in intervention services like the Danger Assessment and the Lethality Assessment Program (LAP).
  • Strangulation Information (English & Spanish): This web page includes a video on the risk of strangulation. The video provides in-depth information about this deadly form of abuse with research from the Alliance for Hope International Training Institute on Strangulation Prevention that shows how strangulation can cause death in minutes or have effects that can last a lifetime.

“Information provided in both the high risk indicators and strangulation videos are particularly important during this time of the COVID-19 ‘Safer at Home’ order and the potential escalation of violence that may accompany it,” Lance said.

At Nashville’s Family Safety Center, OFS advocates work with individuals directly to assess their level of risk, plan for their safety, and encourage medical attention for strangulation. In addition, advocates can assist victims of abuse obtain an Order of Protection. These essential services can be provided on-site at the Family Safety Center at 610 Murfreesboro Pike or over the phone by calling 615-880-1100 or emailing

“It is our hope that these safety tips and educational videos will help individuals experiencing abuse to understand more about their level of risk and encourage them to seek help to stay safe,” Lance said. “The risk to people experiencing abuse may escalate in these times of intense isolation. With these resources, we are giving victims more tools in their toolboxes to recognize potentially deadly behaviors like firearms and strangulation, and to plan for their safety if trapped at home with an abuser. We want them to know that they are not alone and we are still here to help.”

Adaptations, postponements, and cancellations of services during the Safer At Home Order will be posted online at and our Facebook page @OfficeofFamilySafety.

Family Safety Center and Prevent Child Abuse Tennessee Provide Media Source List

For more information contact: Janel Lacy, Lacy Strategies

Family Safety Center and Prevent Child Abuse Tennessee Provide Media Source List

Experts available to talk about broader impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the most vulnerable in our communities
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (April 13, 2020) — The Family Safety Center and Prevent Child Abuse Tennessee have compiled the information below for members of the media who are seeking expert sources to provide comment on the broader human impact of the COVID-19 global health crisis in Nashville.

Measures that are necessary to reduce the spread of COVID-19, including prolonged closures of schools and businesses, are also creating unintended consequences for the wellbeing of those in the community who were already experiencing personal or economic challenges. These consequences include:

  • Violence, abuse and neglect: Social isolation increases the risks for domestic violence, child abuse and other forms of interpersonal violence, including online sexual predators.
    • As victims of domestic violence become socially isolated, there are more opportunities for abuse and fewer opportunities for them to connect with those who might help. TIME Magazine has reported on this issue at a national level.
    • Similarly, child abuse and neglect is more likely to go unreported as social circles contract to only family members. Most cases of child abuse are reported by teachers and other community members who interact with children. In current circumstances, young children may also be left alone to care for themselves. USA Today has reported on this issue at a national level. ○ Many children and teens now have increased access to technology to facilitate at-home learning. With increased technology activity comes the increased ability for minors to
      Page 2 of 4, Media Source List from Family Safety Center and Prevent Child Abuse TN
      encounter online sexual predators. Also, as children and teens become more isolated and lonely, they become more vulnerable and predators’ access points increase.
  • Mental health: A wide-scale crisis, such as this national pandemic, can also trigger anxiety or depression for survivors of domestic or sexual violence who face mental health challenges due to their abuse. Isolation from support networks and other positive coping skills can also increase the use of negative coping skills, including substance abuse relapse.
  • Childhood trauma and toxic stress: Current circumstances are also creating additional economic pressure for vulnerable families who are already living in poverty and facing challenges with basic needs such as stable housing and food. Living in poverty increases the likelihood that children will experience toxic stress—a serious condition that impedes their development and ability to learn. The pandemic is creating additional trauma, which is most harmful for those children who have already experienced severe trauma.

These are challenges that the Nashville Family Safety Center (FSC) and its many partner agencies help address on a regular basis. Although service delivery models have been modified to account for social distancing, help is still available for those in need.

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Metro Office of Family Safety Announces Temporary Changes to Slow the Spread of COVID-19

For Immediate Release

Contact: Diane Lance (615.880.1100)


Vital Services for Victims of Interpersonal Violence Remain Accessible

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (March 23, 2020) – In an effort to promote social distancing and minimize the spread of COVID-19, the Metro Office of Family Safety is making several changes to its operations effective immediately. During this time, vital supports for victims of interpersonal violence will remain accessible, although with modifications to help ensure the health of staff and community members.

  • Nashville’s Court based Family Safety Center, the Jean Crowe Advocacy Center, will suspend its on-site operations until further notice. Those victims appearing for court will be able to work with an Office of Family Safety Advocate by phone.
  • The Metro Office of Family Safety will continue to assist clients at Nashville’s Family Safety Center at 610 Murfreesboro Pike for in-person Order of Protection assistance and assistance by phone for other advocacy needs. Distancing precautions will be taken for the safety of all clients and staff.
  • Procedures are in place for the continuity of core responsibilities that must be completed daily.  Three key functions that will receive specialized attention include:  1) Order of Protection assistance; 2) emergency advocacy assistance; and 3) high risk intervention panel (conducted remotely) and case flagging for high risk concerns.

“Safety risks for victims of domestic violence increase during times of community crisis as stress and isolation increase,” Diane Lance, director of the Metro Office of Family Safety, said. “In this particular case, where everyone is being told to stay at home, we have to recognize that home is not a safe place for everyone in our community. We want to send a clear message to anyone in an abusive relationship that we are here to help, and that has not changed. Victims are urged to call 9-1-1 if they are in immediate danger. Any other time, they can call our office to speak with an advocate. Our phones are answered 24/7 with help outside of normal business hours from the Tennessee Domestic Violence Hotline.”

The Metro Office of Family Safety can be reached at 615-880-1100.

Adaptations, postponements, and cancellations of other services will be posted on our website and our social media (Facebook @OfficeofFamilySafety).


Tennessee Ranks 5th for Men Murdering Women


Tennessee Ranks 5th for Men Murdering Women

Most victims were murdered by a man they knew

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Sept. 19, 2019) — Tennessee is one of the most dangerous states for women, ranking 5th in the nation for women killed by men, according to the latest When Men Murder Women Report released by the Violence Policy Center this week.

The report analyzes national homicide data submitted to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) by local law enforcement agencies. The most recent data available shows 69 Tennessee women were murdered by men in 2017. Of those, 90 percent were killed by a man they knew and 76 percent were killed with guns. This reflects the highest percentage of Tennessee women killed by men with guns in the last 10 years. In comparison, 65 women were murdered by men in 2016 and 52 percent of victims were killed with guns.

The number of women in Metro Nashville-Davidson County killed by men with guns has continued to increase in recent years as well. In 2017, nine women in Nashville were killed by men in domestic violence homicides. Five of the nine women were killed with firearms.

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Nashville Celebrates Five-Year Anniversary of Court-based Support for Domestic Violence Victims


Nashville Celebrates Five-Year Anniversary of Court-based Support for Domestic Violence Victims

Jean Crowe Advocacy Center changed the way victims pursue safety, justice

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Jean Crowe Advocacy Center (JCAC), the only fully court-based Family Justice Center in the country, will celebrate its five-year anniversary with a celebration event on Wednesday, Sept. 4.

The JCAC, which is managed and staffed by the Metro Nashville Office of Family Safety, increases the safety of domestic and sexual violence victims by creating a supportive environment for victims to receive services while waiting for court. Prior to the existence of the center, victims would have to wait for court hearings for hours within close proximity of their offenders, often facing further victimization through intimidation and threats.

Attendees at the anniversary celebration event will get an exclusive first look at a short, historical film that reflects on Nashville’s successes and challenges in serving victims of domestic violence.
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Team Releases Annual Report Reviewing Domestic Violence Homicides



NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Feb. 7, 2019) – Today the Nashville-Davidson County Domestic Abuse Death Review Team (DADRT), co-chaired by Metro Nashville’s Office of Family Safety and Metro Nashville Police Department’s Domestic Violence Division, released its 2017 annual report which recounts and analyzes in detail the events leading up to a domestic violence homicide that occurred in Nashville.

The annual report serves as a continual safety assessment for Nashville-Davidson County and includes recommendations to improve domestic violence prevention and response from the findings of the review.

The homicide selected for the report involved multiple contacts with the criminal justice system. The selected case also involved an extensive history of abuse of the victim committed by the perpetrator. This case is indicative of the increase in incidents of domestic violence-related murder-suicide that took place in Nashville in 2017 and across the state.

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